Processes – IP scenario analysis

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A technology scenario analysis has been performed through the utilization of Derwent Innovation [1]. Derwent Innovation is an application that provides access to the most trusted global patent data, the Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI)[2] and scientific literature.

The analysis has been conducted through the definition of a query, specific for the thematic area, based on the respective IPC [3] codes. In particular, the thematic area of Processes for Additive Manufacturing corresponds to the IPC B33Y 10/00, as depicted in the scheme below.

The time interval considered during the search is between 2008 and 2018. However, 2018 has been excluded from the trend graphs due to the very partial results. In the following graph total published patents per year are reported.

A strong increase in patent applications has been registered, with a steady linear growth in the period under analysis.

Main application country codes are reported in the following graph; international code (WO) applications are 2430, while European code (EP) applications are 2034.

United States are the most populated country code, followed by China, international code (WO), Japan and European (EP) applications.

Main assignees or applicants are reported in the following graph.

The list is led by a series of large companies active in the field of printing technologies and, more in general, information technologies, namely, General ElectricHewlett-Packard (HP), and  Xerox Corporation based in the United States, Ricoh CO. from Japan, and Stratasys, also from US. Other company reported in the list active in the same market segments is Seiko Epson Corporation, form Japan, holding the seventh position.

The tenth player reported in the list is Boeing, another US company that together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, sales, services, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide.

Following graph and table report the distribution and definition of IPC (International Patent Classification) codes for the patents in scope

B33Y ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, i.e. MANUFACTURING OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL [3-D] OBJECTS BY ADDITIVE DEPOSITION, ADDITIVE AGGLOMERATION OR ADDITIVE LAYERING, e.g. BY 3-D PRINTING, STEREOLITHOGRAPHY OR SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING
B29C SHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL; AFTER- TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
B22F WORKING METALLIC POWDER; MANUFACTURE OF ARTICLES FROM METALLIC POWDER; MAKING METALLIC POWDER
B23K SOLDERING OR UNSOLDERING; WELDING; CLADDING OR PLATING BY SOLDERING OR WELDING; CUTTING BY APPLYING HEAT LOCALLY, e.g. FLAME CUTTING; WORKING BY LASER BEAM
A61C DENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
C08L COMPOSITIONS OF MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS
B22C FOUNDRY MOULDING
B28B SHAPING CLAY OR OTHER CERAMIC COMPOSITIONS, SLAG OR MIXTURES CONTAINING CEMENTITIOUS MATERIAL, e.g. PLASTER
A61F FILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
A61L METHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
F01D NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES

As can be seen, the IPC code specific for Additive Manufacturing (B33Y) is mainly used as Secondary IPC, while the first Main IPC in the patent set is B29, referring to plastic shaping or joining. Other IPC codes are reported in the Table.

 

The following map was draft utilizing the proprietary Themescape tool of the Derwent Innovation suite. Themescape performs a semantic analysis on the titles and abstract of patents and groups patents on the basis of top recurrent words. “Hills” represent a concentration of patents in correspondence of common keywords. Each point represents a patent of the dataset. Analysing the map is it possible to note some returning topics in correspondence of peaks.

In the following slideshow are reported:

  1. The map of recurrent topics automatically generated by the Themescape tool, on the basis of a semantic analysis of title and abstracts of papers;
  2. The map of recurrent topics reporting the positioning of the Top 5 players, giving indication on the main topic of patenting activity.

 

Most recent patents published are summarized in the following tables. Please click on the tables to get access at the full text.

Assignee/Applicant RAYTHEON CO
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
US20180272460A1 27/09/2018 2015-12-04 | 2016-12-01 B23K001500 | B23K001506 | B23K0026067 | B23K0026342 | B23K002670
Title ELECTRON BEAM ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Abstract The electron beam AM method involves providing a raw material which is a metal or metal alloy in solid state form. The raw material is exposed to a leading energy beam to liquefy the raw material. A melt pool (20) is formed with the liquefied raw material, in which the melt pool has a leading region and a trailing region. The trailing region of the melt pool is then exposed to a trailing energy beam. The melt pool is solidified to form a re-solidified layer (22). The solidification process is repeated at different locations to build a three-dimensional structure.
Area Processes
Assignee/Applicant VOXELJET AG
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
US9962885B2 08/05/2018 2010-04-14 | 2011-04-11 | 2012-10-09 B29C006700 | B29C0064153 | B29C0064165 | B29C0064176 | B29C006420 | B29C0064214 | B29C0064357 | B08B000100 | B29K010100 | B29K010516 | B29L000900 | B33Y001000 | B33Y003000 | B33Y007000
Title Device for producing three-dimensional models
Abstract The device has a coater for applying a particle material in layers on a building platform and subsequently another material is applied on it. The two application steps are repeated until a desired model is obtained. The coater transports emerging excess quantity of particle materials in a container transverse to coating direction. The particle material is moved with the coater in the container. The container is located along a side of the building platform in coating direction.
Area Processes
Assignee/Applicant ARCAM AB
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
US9950366B2 24/04/2018 2013-04-18 | 2014-03-31 B05D000306 | B22F000102 | B22F0003105 | B28B000100 | B29C006700 | B33Y001000 | B33Y003000 | B33Y007000 | C23C001400 | C23C001422 | C23C001644
Title Apparatus for additive manufacturing
Abstract The method involves applying a layer of predetermined thickness of powder particles on a work table (102) in a vacuum chamber. A coating (122) is applied on a portion of the layer of powder particles while powder particles are inside the vacuum chamber, such that coating partially covers the powder particles. The powder particles are fused on the work table with an energy beam (155). The powder particles are made of a ceramic material or a polymer material. An electrical conductivity of coating material is greater than electrical conductivity of powder particles.
Area Processes
Assignee/Applicant FORD GLOBAL TECH LLC
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
US20180142054A1 24/05/2018 15/11/2016 C08F028300 | B33Y001000 | B33Y007000 | C08K000334 | C08L005108 | C09D015108
Title Additive Manufacturing Process
Abstract Additive manufacturing is performed by mixing a reflective material including fibers with a photopolymer resin (14) to a form resin mixture having loading of reflective material of ≥ 3 wt.% and curing the resin mixture using a light source (18) to form 1st and 2nd individually cured layers (26) and a bridge of a portion of fibers between the 1st and 2nd layer.
Area Processes
Assignee/Applicant UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
JP06373880B2 15/08/2018 2013-02-26 | 2014-02-25 B23K001500 | B29C006700 | B33Y001000 | B33Y003000
Title 多ワイヤ電子ビーム溶融 | Multi-wire electron beam fusion|melting
Abstract The system has an electron beam gun (22) and several wire feeders (24A-24N). A beam control system (26) is operable to control the electron beam gun and several independent wire feeders to maintain several melt pools to fabricate a three-dimensional workpiece (W). The independent wire feeders are operable to feed respective wires (25A-25N) into any location within a predefined fraction of a build envelope (28). The beam control system is operable to control electron beam gun to direct a beam into the build envelope.
Area Processes
Assignee/Applicant EOS GMBH ELECTRO OPTICAL SYSTEMS
Publication number Publication date Priority date IPC Current
JP06291459B2 14/03/2018 2008-05-20 | 2008-05-20 | 2008-08-14 | 2008-08-14 B29C0064135 | B33Y001000 | B33Y007000 | C08J000328
Title 構造修飾されたポリマーの選択的焼結 | Polymer selective sintering by which the structure modification was carried out
Abstract Producing a three-dimensional object by selectively sintering a polymer powder with electromagnetic radiation comprises using a polymer that has a branching group in the main chain, has a modified terminal group and/or has a bulky group in the main chain. When the polymer is a polyaryletherketone, the branching group is an aromatic structural unit and the bulky group is not a phenylene, biphenylene, naphthalene or methylene- or isopropylidene-linked aromatic group.
Area Processes

 

[1] https://clarivate.com/products/derwent-innovation/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derwent_World_Patents_Index

[3] http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/ipcpub/?notion=scheme&version=20180101&symbol=none&menulang=en&lang=en&viewmode=f&fipcpc=no&showdeleted=yes&indexes=no&headings=yes&notes=yes&direction=o2n&initial=A&cwid=none&tree=no&searchmode=smart

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